PICC logo Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

FEBRUARY 7, 2018
In this issue...

Member of the Month: Ceiba
#StoptheHate & Stop PA Anti-Immigrant Legislation
Education Justice Campaign Update
Welcome New Interns!
News from PICC
Upcoming Events

Member of the Month: Ceiba

Ceiba is a coalition of Latino community-based organizations that promote the economic development and financial inclusion of the Latino community through collaborations and advocacy aimed at ensuring their access to affordable housing. Ceiba uses a comprehensive approach to promote asset building in low income communities. It includes housing counseling, financial literacy education, matched savings programs, free tax preparation, access to the Earned Income Tax Credit, ITIN application assistance, access to micro-loans, and the opportunity to establish and improve credit. Ceiba has been a member of PICC since 2004. As a member, Ceiba collaborated with other organizations to expand access to city services for people who are LEP. Over the years, Ceiba's collaboration has grown to include participating in PICC's PA is Ready! efforts. Being a member of PICC has opened the door for other opportunities as well; most recently, Ceiba had the opportunity to attend the National Immigration Integration Conference in Phoenix Arizona. Gracias PICC. Follow Ceiba on Facebook


#StoptheHate & Stop PA Anti-Immigrant Legislation

The beginning of a new year means that the Pennsylvania legislature is back in session! Beginning in January, 2017, state legislators introduced a variety of anti-immigrant bills. Below is a brief summary. You can find more information on our website, along with talking points and messaging guides for talking to your legislators.

Access to Public Benefits: These bills are focused on requiring additional proof of citizenship to obtain public benefits. These bills are a classic case of a solution in search of a problem, as there have been no documented cases of undocumented immigrants fraudulently obtaining public benefits. These bills will primarily harm low-income citizens who are entitled to benefits like unemployment insurance. Bill Numbers: SB9, HB826, HB1095.

Mandating E-Verify: These bills would require employers use e-verify for all employees. The E-Verify system has been shown to be unreliable and would be very expensive for many small businesses and small farmers. Bill Numbers: SB602, HB459, HB856, HB1340.

Anti- “Sanctuary Campus”: Would withhold funding from institutions of higher learning with “sanctuary campus” policies. The definition of these policies are both vague and broad. Bill Numbers: SB273, HB14.

Anti- “Sanctuary City”: There are two versions of this bill, SB10 and HB28. SB10 would withhold funding from “sanctuary” municipalities. This bill would affect not just Philadelphia, but the over 30 counties that have written policies not to hold people based solely on ICE holds. HB28 is a defacto “show your papers” policy that would mandate municipal employees to ask about immigration status of anyone “suspected” of being an immigrant. It would also create municipal liability for any harm committed by an undocumented immigrant living in the municipality. This bill would affect every county and municipality in the state.


Education Justice Campaign Update

PICC is committed to supporting immigrant student’s educational opportunities, access to tuition equity, financial aid and most importantly their well being. Undocumented and DACA-eligible students in PA face barriers when attending college due to lack of clarity on admissions policies, and lack of action from PA politicians to pass a Tuition Equity bill. On top of that, due to the political climate they now face more uncertainty and fear of deportation. All of these factors disrupt their everyday life and education. In order to support them, PICC continues to create material to help all immigrant students navigate the higher education system by sharing resources and scholarship opportunities through PICC’s "Access to College for Undocumented Students" toolkit.

This month, PICC will begin to reach out to PA university presidents with a request that they take steps to make their schools and policies immigrant friendly, meet with immigrant students to understand how they can be supportive, and that they take action on DACA, TPS, and Clean Dream Act. If you are a student, parent, or ally working with a particular institution and would like to co-sign the letter, or would like to make sure PICC sends a letter to your school, please contact Maria Sotomayor at mariasotomayor@paimmigrant.org or 215-832-3482

We ask prospective and current immigrant undocumented and DACA students to please fill out our Higher Education Survey to help us keep track of undocufriendly schools, policies, scholarships, etc. This survey has helped us create resources such as our Access to College toolkit and has also helped us identify undocufriendly universities in PA to work with and ensure their ongoing support to all students regardless immigration status.


Welcoming New Interns!

We are excited to welcome two new Civic Engagement interns this spring!

Nicole Bañales is currently a student at Swarthmore College studying Sociology. Growing up in El Paso, Texas, a border town with Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Nicole was always surrounded by the beauty and conflict of immigration. In the Spring of 2017, she studied abroad in Chile through Middlebury College, studying human rights, memory, and gender studies. Through working as an intern for PICC, Nicole hopes to continue the fight for immigration rights back in her hometown after graduating.

Sophie Webb is currently a junior at Bryn Mawr College, majoring in sociology. Sophie has always had an interest in social justice and activism and is excited to be contributing to PICC’s goal of building electoral power in immigrant communities. Sophie hopes that her prior experience at various customer service oriented jobs and her work as an editor and journalist at the Bryn Mawr and Haverford Bi-College Newspaper will help her contribute in a meaningful way to the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition.

Upcoming Events

Monthly Vigil/Vigilia to Shut Down the Berks Family Detention Center

Sun Feb 18, 3:30pm
1040 Berks Rd, Leesport, PA 19533

The United Church of Christ Pennsylvania Southeast Conference will lead this month’s vigil. Please join us as we continue to lift our voices for the individuals who continue to be detained in the Berks County Detention Center. Follow the Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness and the Shut Down Berks Coalition on Facebook to get updates on events.

Monthly Vigil/Vigilia to Shut Down the Berks Family Detention Center

Sun Mar 18, 3:30pm
1040 Berks Rd, Leesport, PA 19533

FREE Together will lead this month’s vigil. Please join us as we continue to lift our voices for the individuals who continue to be detained in the Berks County Detention Center. Follow the Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness and the Shut Down Berks Coalition on Facebook to get updates on events.

2018 Immigrant & Refugee Rights Convening

Join us May 20-21, 2018 for the third annual Statewide Immigrant and Refugee Rights Convening! Register Today!

PICC Updates

Community Navigator Training Series

In a time of increased ICE enforcement and constant attacks on immigrant communities, it is crucial that our communities have the knowledge and skills they need to assert their rights and help others do the same. Our comprehensive Navigator Curriculum is designed to equip participants with the tools they need to protect themselves against ICE raids and help ensure others have full access to legal clinics that can help them maintain their immigration status. You can register for one or all modules in the series here. You must complete all 6 modules to become a PICC Certified Community Navigator.

  • Module 1: Overview of Immigration Law/La ley de Inmigración
  • Module 2: Know Your Rights/Conozca sus derechos
  • Module 3: Deportation Defense/Defensa contra la deportación
  • Module 4: Eligibility Screening/Preselección de elegibilidad
  • Module 5: Citizenship/Ciudadanía
  • Module 6: Presentation and Training Skills/Habilidades para hacer presentaciones

2018 Statewide Immigrant & Refugee Rights Convening

We are excited to invite you to the third annual Statewide Immigrant and Refugee Rights Convening!

When: May 20-21, 2018
Where: Hilton Harrisburg, Harrisburg PA

The theme of PICC’s 2018 Statewide Immigrant and Refugee Rights Convening is “Building Local Power.” In the face of an extreme anti-immigrant agenda at the federal and state levels, it is more important than ever to build alliances among immigrant and refugee communities and allies. Through local coalitions and partnerships we can build the power to defend our communities and fight for the policies we need. Register today! Or read more about the program, workshops, and speakers.



Please Donate to PICC!

PICC depends upon your support. Please donate to PICC today to support our advocacy and organizing work to mobilize the immigrant vote, build immigrant leaders, campaign for pro-immigrant policies at the local, state and federal levels, and support the effective implementation of pro-immigrant public policies.

Connect with us:
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

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